|Title:||Defining Medical Futility in Ethics, Law and Clinical Practice: An Exercise in Futility?|
|Citation:||Kerridge, I., K. Mitchell, and J. McPhee. "Defining Medical Futility in Ethics, Law and Clinical Practice: An Exercise in Futility?" Journal of Law and Medicine 4 (1997): 235-242.|
|Abstract:||The debate as to the meaning of medical futility and what physicians should do in clinical practice dates back to the time of the writings of Hippocrates and Plato where it was said, "To attempt futile treatment is to display an ignorance that is allied to madness". In simpler times assertions regarding the obvious were sufficient to indicate what was thought "fitting" as a medical practitioner. In recent times, however, modern technology, professional values and power, patient autonomy, limited health care resources and societal expectations, make for a much more potent and potentially explosive mixture. In this article we argue that futility is a problem that will not go away, both because of increased health expectations and emerging technologies that keep making possible what was previously impossible. The problem of definition and its ramifications in terms of institutional policies is one in which the legal profession and its process (which often represents and reflects societal values) has a key role to play by way of critical reflection and appraisal.|
|Type of Work:||Article|
|Appears in Collections:||Research Papers and Publications. Sydney Health Ethics|
|JLM defining medical futility.pdf||726.84 kB||Adobe PDF|
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